Cosmic Ark is a game released for the Atari 2600. It is the sequel to Atlantis.
The Alpha Ro solar system is in crisis! Their sun is about to go supernova, meaning the death of all the many planets and the exotic lifeforms who call them home.
Luckily, though, the noble Atlanteans have heard of Alpha Ro's plight and have sent a vast Cosmic Ark thousands of light-years across the galaxy to try and save as many species as possible.
You, as the captain of the Ark, will have to contend with deadly meteor storms and planetary defence systems if you are to succeed in your mission.
In the game's first screen, you must fend off waves of meteors from all four sides of the screen, pushing the joystick in the direction you want to fire. The second stage requires you to pilot the small ship from Atlantis' ending scene to the surface of a plent, using its tractor beam to pick up life forms from the surface. While you're near the surface, planetary defenses will be firing at you. If your ship is hit, a creature will be returned to the planet's surface from your shuttle, and you'll need to navigate the ship back to the surface again. If you take too long on the planet, a warning of renewed meteor activity will sound and you must return immediately to the ark to defend it.
Cosmic Ark does not give a set amount of lives. Instead, the ark starts with 40 fuel units, which are lost when the ark is hit by a meteor as well as each time you fire, and gained by destroying a meteor and capturing a beastie on a planet. If you capture both beasties on a planet's surface before the warning klaxon sounds, your fuel will be topped off. If you run out of energy, the next hit on your ark will end the game.